Gateway Arch National Park

Audio Available:

OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Gateway Arch National Park's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Gateway Arch visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 53 minutes, which we have divided into 25 sections as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1 through 18 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding St. Louis' role in Westward Expansion, the making of a monument, and the people of the west. Sections 19 through 25 cover the back of the brochure, which consists of images and text on programming, historical, architectural elements and amenities in the park; such as the tour to the Top of the Gateway Arch, or a Riverboat cruise down the Mississippi River. Another highlight is a large illustrated map of Gateway Arch National Park.

↑ back to top

OVERVIEW: Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 91 acre park is situated in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri at the edge of the Mississippi River. This park, established in 1935 as Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, had its name changed to Gateway Arch National Park in 2018. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be had at Gateway Arch National Park. We invite you to explore the park's historic Old Courthouse, modern visitor center, and, of course, our soaring stainless-steel Arch in a impeccably manicured, tranquil park setting, right in the middle of downtown. Learn about some of the historic cases that took place at the Old Courthouse, including the first two Dred Scott trials. Go back in history with a ranger tour in our state-of-the-art museum. Step into a circular capsule for a one-of-a-kind tram ride to the top of the majestic Gateway Arch. Exit the visitor center and feel one of the stainless steel triangles at the Arch's base.  Then walk down to the west bank of the mighty Mississippi River, just a few miles from where the Lewis and Clark journey began. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, electronic audio-descriptive guides can be found at the Information Desk inside the entrance. Tactile displays and maps of the region can be found throughout the facility. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

↑ back to top

OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure

The front of the brochure contains text and seven photographs. All but one of the photographs are in color. The text tells of the significance, design, construction, and history of the Gateway Arch, as well as a brief overview of the six exhibit galleries in the Museum. 

A black bar runs vertically on the far left of this brochure's side. Printed on the bar are the identifying elements of the brochure. The large text reads: Gateway Arch. In a smaller font there is this text: Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Also included is the National Park Service's brown arrowhead logo. The arrowhead points down. It contains a green fir tree on the left side. Behind and to the right of the tree is a snow-capped mountain. At the bottom of the arrowhead is a white bison facing left on a background of green. The upper right portion of the logo contains the words "National Park Service" in white letters.


↑ back to top

IMAGE and TEXT: Gateway to the West

SYNOPSIS: Evening photograph of the Gateway Arch, a towering 630-foot tall stainless steel monument shaped like an upside down “U”, towering over the St. Louis cityscape. Several sky-scraper office buildings, varying in size, are seen in the background. The angle of the photo makes them appear close to the arch. An ornate white building with a green top, sitting below the Arch, is lit from beneath. A still river is at the bottom of the photo.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The sky in the top of the image is dusky orange with grey clouds. The sky fades to darker purple-grey in the bottom of the photo near the horizon. The angle of the camera captures the immense height difference between the Arch and the city skyscraper buildings near it. The tallest skyscraper appears to be only half of the height of the Arch. Because the photo was taken in the evening, the arch appears black in the top of the image, and fades to shiny purple-grey at the base. The right side of the photo is feathered, so the buildings fade into the distance on the right side. The buildings are dark in color, with the left side of each building highlighted by the setting sun, and flecks of light are seen through the buildings’ windows. The brightest-lit structure under the Arch is the Old Courthouse. This is an ornate white building with a green dome, lavishly decorated in the Greek Revival style with columns and pediments. Surrounding the Old Courthouse and the base of the Arch are trees, darkened by the nighttime. Glaring lights appear underneath the trees. The ground slopes towards the riverfront, where streetlights line the levee. The light projected from the streetlights shine on small trees on the left of the photograph. The very bottom of the photo shows the Mississippi River, which appears still and smooth. The river appears to be the same purplish-grey color as the lower legs of the Gateway Arch. Scattered vehicles are parked along the riverfront levee. Three flags fly on the levee just above the river.

CREDIT: CHAD COMBS - TERRELL CREATIVE

RELATED TEXT: Gateway Arch National Park commemorates St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States in the 1800s. Because of its strategic location near the confluence of the nation’s two longest rivers—the Mississippi and Missouri—St. Louis was a successful trading center from the time of its founding in 1764. Fur trade with regional Indian tribes, particularly the Osages, developed during a colonial period when primarily French- speaking residents were ruled by Spain.

In 1803 the Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States and ensured prominence for St. Louis. The town grew rapidly in the early 1800s and became the headquarters for the American fur trade in the Rocky Mountains, the jumping-off point for westward exploration, the site of government treaties with Indian tribes, and a growing economic and manufacturing center. By the 1840s, it was the last major city on the way west and an outfitting point for covered wagon expeditions to California, Utah, and Oregon.

Westward expansion had both positive and negative results. Railroads transported manufactured goods and settlers west from cities like St. Louis. In the span of two generations, the region between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean was dramatically transformed with towns, farms, ranches, forts, and public land reserved for homesteaders. As Americans and European immigrants settled more and more land, American Indian tribes lost their homelands and ways of life.

Today, architect Eero Saarinen’s masterpiece is a place to learn this complex history, contemplate its significance, and meet the people of America’s Western epoch.

↑ back to top

IMAGES and QUOTE: Thomas Jefferson

IMAGE 1 of 2: Thomas Jefferson Portrait

DESCRIBING: Vertical, color photograph

SYNOPSIS: A detailed and realistic color portrait of Thomas Jefferson in his mid sixties. The image is cropped tightly around Jefferson’s head, and the edges are feathered. Jefferson wears a white cravat with a black jacket.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: An older white man with a sharp nose and prominent brow stares directly at the viewer. He is expressionless, and his small mouth is tightly shut in a straight line. His hair is white and bushy, with the sides softly curling around his ear on the left side of the image. His hair is brushed back from his forehead, which shows no wrinkles. His eyes are brown with a glimmer of reflected light, and his cheekbones are blushed with an amber tone. The skin on his cheeks and neck droops slightly, showing his age. His pronounced chin is pointing forward. His head is slightly tilted to the right. He wears a white cravat (neck scarf) that wraps around his entire neck and a black jacket with the collar up.

CREDIT: WHITE HOUSE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION 


IMAGE 2 of 2: Signature of Thomas Jefferson

DESCRIBING: Cursive signature 

SYNOPSIS: White script that says Th. Jefferson

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The signature is printed in white ink. The strokes rise and fall elegantly. Every letter is legible and neat. The “F” in Jefferson appears to be crossed like a “T”.

CREDIT: UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA LIBRARY


QUOTE: History, by apprising the people of the past, will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men . . . —Thomas Jefferson, 1782

↑ back to top

IMAGE: Arch Silhouette

DESCRIBING: A faint silhouette

DESCRIPTION: A mostly transparent close-up of the upper reaches of the Gateway Arch as viewed from below. It is very tall and steep from this angle. The top is gently curved. Since it is mostly transparent, the purple shades of the early evening are visible through the image.

CAPTION: Architect Eero Saarinen and long-time collaborator Dan Kiley, a master of modern landscape architecture, designed the landscape surrounding the Gateway Arch. The tree-lined walks, rolling hills, reflecting ponds, and grand staircase descending to the Mississippi River mirror the shape of the Arch.

CREDIT: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

↑ back to top

IMAGE: Fireworks

DESCRIBING: A vertical, color photograph.

SYNOPSIS: Fireworks exploding in the night sky behind the colossal upside-down letter “U” shape of the Gateway Arch

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The gleaming steel of the Gateway Arch towers above everything else in the photograph and spreads across the entire photo’s width. This photograph was taken at nighttime, with the sky behind the Arch completely black. Near the top of the arch, rosettes of neon-orange and neon-yellow fireworks explode in bright bursting trails of fiery light. Three fiery streaks shoot up from the horizon to the fireworks, centered between the two legs of the Arch. The Arch’s shiny metallic surface is reflecting the light of the explosions. Some rectangular bits of light from streetlights or illuminated windows are speckled throughout the bottom of the photo, near the base of the arch. At the bottom of the image, a large group of people stand around a stage that is illuminated with purple light. 

CAPTION: The riverfront beneath the Gateway Arch often hosts festivals, historical events, and concerts. The soaring Arch is both a memorial to westward expansion and an icon of the city of St. Louis.

CREDIT: CARRIE YONLEY

↑ back to top

IMAGE and TEXT: American Identity Expressed

SYNOPSIS: The monumental 630-feet tall stainless steel ‘U’-shaped Gateway Arch soars far above the rest of the tranquil park setting. Backing the Arch is a cloudless blue sky that extends over halfway down the photograph. In front and to the right of the Arch are deciduous trees, some of which are turning orange. The bottom of the image shows a man-made, ‘S’-shaped pond filled with glassy water that reflects the arch, sky, and trees. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The Gateway Arch is as wide as it is tall; however, the angle of the photograph makes the Arch appear significantly taller than it is wide. The right leg of the arch appears wider because it is closer to the camera. It tapers in size while rising and gracefully curving at the top. The curve continues downward, revealing the legs as being composed of triangular sections. The Arch is set against a clear, blue ombre sky. The blue lightens to near white as it descends to the horizon. Sun is reflected near the peak of the Arch, creating a bright white shimmer on the steel. Directly in front of the Arch, covering its base, are deciduous, round Rose Hill Ash trees that are aligned along the perimeter of a man-made pond. Red and orange leaves pop out in the sea of green on the trees, indicating the fall season has just begun. To the far left of the photograph stands a conifer tree, shaped like a classic Christmas tree, that towers above the others. Its position close to the foreground of the image makes the conifer appear to be nearly half as tall as the Arch. All of the trees are standing on a brown and green grass-covered area, with some of the land sloping gradually downhill to the reflecting pond. A concrete perimeter curves along the man-made pond in roughly the shape of an hourglass, or backwards ‘S’. The pond's water shows a rippled reflection of a quarter of the Arch and a few trees. 

CAPTION: Eero Saarinen felt that an architectural idea must be as simple as possible to have meaning and impact. All its elements must contribute to the overall artistic expression. The central idea of the Gateway Arch is a graceful catenary curve, the shape a chain takes when suspended freely between two points.

CREDIT: NPS


RELATED TEXT: The Gateway Arch is a world-renowned masterpiece of modern architecture built on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis. Rising from a forested park, it is a part of the national historic site created in 1935 to commemorate the role of St. Louis in the westward expansion of the United States.

To create the memorial, 40 blocks of old buildings were leveled in the core of the downtown area. It was here that the French originally set up a fur trading post in 1764, and that steamboats jostled for space in one of the nation’s busiest pre-Civil War ports.

In 1947 a national competition challenged architects to design a memorial that would evoke the grand scale and drama of the nation’s westward expansion. The judges chose Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch from among 172 entries. The Arch, like his other works—the TWA terminal at JFK airport in New York City and Dulles airport outside Washington DC—combined engineering, materials, and technology to create an iconic and daring structure.

↑ back to top

IMAGES and QUOTE: Eero Saarinen

IMAGE 1 of 2: Eero Saarinen Signature

DESCRIBING: Cursive signature 

SYNOPSIS: White script that says Eero Sa...

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The signature is printed in white ink. The strokes are loopy and wide. The capital “E” and “S” of the signature are much bigger than the lowercase letters. The “S” and “a” in his last name are clear, but the signature turns into an illegible long, squiggly line after those letters.  

CREDIT: NPS


IMAGE 2 of 2: Eero Saarinen Portrait

DESCRIBING: Vertical, sepia photograph.

SYNOPSIS: A portrait photograph of Eero Saarinen, the architect for the Gateway Arch. The image is cropped tightly around Saarinen’s head, and the edges are feathered. He wears a suit with a white shirt and black bowtie.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A young white man facing to the left with only his right ear visible. His closely-cropped receding hair is neatly slicked back. His eyebrows are somewhat bushy. His eyes are looking left and squinting slightly. He appears to be deep in thought. His long nose slopes to a point. Small lips are pursed together, slightly smiling. He wears a white collared shirt, slightly askew black bow tie, and a tweed jacket with a tight-knit white-and-black checkered pattern.

CREDIT: NPS


QUOTE: Neither an obelisk nor a rectangular box nor a dome seemed right on this site or for this purpose. But here, at the edge of the Mississippi River, a great arch did seem right. —Eero Saarinen, 1959

↑ back to top

TEXT: Meet the People of the West

If St. Louis is the gateway, who ventured beyond the gateway and who did they encounter along the way? Stories of explorers, fur traders, overlanders, and American Indians create a rich and nuanced saga that reverberates well beyond their era. Their experiences and contemporary significance are explored in six exhibit galleries in the Museum at the Gateway Arch.

↑ back to top

TEXT: Colonial St. Louis

Founded as a French fur trading post in 1764, St. Louis prospered because of its central location. The European newcomers participated in travel and trade net- works that American Indians had used for centuries. This gallery explores early French architecture, cuisine, language, and customs.

↑ back to top

TEXT: Jefferson's Vision

Thomas Jefferson had a passionate interest in the West. He brokered the Louisiana Purchase, sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the new acquisition, and devised a scheme to remove eastern Indian tribes to lands west of the Mississippi River. The gallery chronicles Clark’s role in facilitating Indian removal. The Old Rock House, an 1818 fur trade warehouse, is reconstructed here.

↑ back to top

TEXT: Manifest Destiny

During the 1800s, many Americans embraced the idea of “Manifest Destiny,” a phrase coined in 1845 to justify the phenomenon of westward expansion. This gallery explores the positive and negative effects of the Manifest Destiny concept on American Indians, Spanish-speaking residents of the Southwest during the Mexican-American War, and American pioneers.

↑ back to top

TEXT: Riverfront Era

The present-day grounds of the Gateway Arch were part of a thriving riverport that fueled westward expansion. Those heading West came here to buy supplies for a grueling six-to-seven month trek across the continent. Murals, a detailed scale model, and a reconstructed storefront recreate the activity of the historic levee area.

↑ back to top

TEXT: New Frontiers

As the 20th century dawned and railroads crisscrossed the land, the West was quickly settled. St. Louis prospered as an economic and manufacturing center. American Indian tribes were confined to reservations, ushering in a long period of hardship. This gallery depicts the West memorialized in art, literature, and film. Models and artifacts document construction of the Eads Bridge. Videos feature reflections from Indian tribal members.

↑ back to top

TEXT: Building the Gateway Arch

City residents spent decades dreaming, planning, and building a fitting monument to St. Louis’ role in westward expansion. The gallery shows the riverfront demolition and reconstruction, design and construction of the Arch, the career of Eero Saarinen, and the evolution of the monument’s significance.

↑ back to top

MAP and TEXT: William Clark's Map of the West

DESCRIBING: A small image of a horizontal historical hand drawn map

SYNOPSIS:A very detailed map faded brown with age. It stretches from the Pacific Ocean in the west to Lake Superior. It goes as far south as St. Louis, MO. Though it is difficult to discern details due to the small size of this image and large scale of the original, the most obvious features are the geographic features of mountains (which appear as thick caterpillar-like fuzzy lines) and rivers (thin lines that branch out like trees). The map is a visual representation of the reach of American power and influence slowly taking over the land and exerting its power over the Native American people who made this area their home.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The background of the map is a faded light brown, and the text and topographical notations are in a dark brown ink. In the lower left corner of the map is a very long legend in ornate script with looping curlicues and handwritten block print that says “Map of Lewis and Clark’s Track Across the Western Portion of North America From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean; By Order of the Executive of the United States, In 1804, 5 & 6.” Latitude and longitude numbers are marked around the four edges of the map and the numbers are connected by lines drawn in gentle curves across the map. In the lower right corner of the map the city of St. Louis is highlighted with a red callout textbox. The map extends to the Pacific Ocean on the left side. Mountain ranges, most notably the Rocky Mountains near the west coast, are indicated by very thick dark lines and shadows to look three dimensional. Lakes, rivers, and other smaller waterways are indicated with thin wavy lines. Locations and names of tribes of Native Americans are indicated on the map, though the print is so small as to be almost unreadable at this scale. In the upper left corner of the map is the Pacific Ocean as it meets the west coast.

 CAPTION:  ST. LOUIS - Established near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, St. Louis became a center of trade.

CREDIT: NIMA / USGS

RELATED TEXT: William Clark’s Map of the West, 1805–38, was first compiled during the Lewis and Clark expedition. It later hung in Clark’s Indian Council Chamber in St. Louis. Fur traders, explorers, and Indians amended the map during visits to Clark, making it the most accurate view of its time.



↑ back to top

IMAGE and TEXT: Making of a Monument

DESCRIBING: A vertical, oval color photograph.

SYNOPSIS: Over a dozen construction workers stand on the top of the Gateway Arch as a crane lowers the last piece of the monument that will complete the Arch’s construction. Far below, the Mississippi river and parked cars are visible.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The Gateway Arch itself makes up the majority of the photo, with the Mississippi river and a clear blue sky in the background. The shiny curve of the Gateway Arch has a dark spot in the middle where a piece of the arch is missing. On top of the arch’s shiny surface, red-painted metal scaffolding holds a platform that the construction workers are standing on. The scaffolding stretches most of the width of the arch, but it is not solid and the arch's surface is visible beneath it. Most of the men are wearing white hardhats and dark clothing. On the right side of the photo, an orange and white construction crane that is attached to the more distant leg of the arch holds a thick triangular structure with a hollow interior. The triangular structure is being lowered into the top of the Arch by a crane. An American flag is attached to the cables holding the triangular structure. The flag is billowing in the wind. On the bottom-left side of the picture, between the legs of the arch, hundreds of parked cars are visible. The cars appear very small from the height the photo was taken. On the right side of the oval image, the Mississippi River appears blue-grey and calm.

CREDIT: ART WHITMAN COLLECTION UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI–ST. LOUIS

RELATED TEXT: The structure of the Gateway Arch, built between 1963 and 1965, is a sandwich made of stainless steel on the outside, carbon steel on the inside, and concrete in the middle.

Nothing like this had ever been built or even attempted. How could workers be sure the legs would meet at the top? How could they keep it from tipping over? The plans called for exact measurements of the two freestanding legs as each piece was welded into place. Post-tensioning rods made of steel placed within the back side of each leg kept the structure from tipping over until the final section could stabilize the 630-foot structure. Workers struggled against high winds, biting cold, and searing heat, coupled with dizzying heights and uneven surfaces. On the final day of construction an excited audience watched as the crane settled the keystone into place. The tram system, created in just two weeks by elevator designer Dick Bowser, takes one million people to the top every year.

↑ back to top

OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure

On the back side of the brochure when unfolded the far-left flap is a black graphic background that is 4 inches wide and runs the 16.5-inch height of the brochure. On top of this black strip are 9 square color photos. The photos depict architectural, historical, programming and activities at Gateway Arch National Park. To the right of each photo in white text are captions and credits for each image. To the right of the photo captions spanning the rest of the brochure from top to bottom is an Illustrated map of Gateway Arch National Park including the Visitor Center, Old Cathedral, Luther Ely Smith Square, and Old Courthouse. At the top of the Illustration is the title A Modern Age of Discovery at Gateway Arch National Park. Below the title nine rows of smaller text explain the places on the map, also providing the physical address and the park web address. At the lower third of the page and in line with the above text is another title, Know the Numbers, under which are two columns of smaller text that provides facts about the Gateway Arch. Detailed text, photo and map descriptions are presented under their own sections within the audio brochure.

↑ back to top

TEXT: A Modern Age of Discovery at Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park includes the Arch, underground visitor center and museum, Old Courthouse, Mississippi riverfront, and landscaped green spaces and trails.

VISITOR CENTER AND MUSEUM AT THE GATEWAY ARCH: Six exhibit galleries explore the central role St. Louis played in the nation’s westward expansion and the experiences of people past and present. Information desk, documentary film, museum store, and cafe.

RIDE TO THE TOP OF THE ARCH: Take a tram ride to the observation deck at the top of the Arch. Tickets are required and are available at the underground visitor center or online at www.gatewayarch.com,

 OLD COURTHOUSE: Site of the Dred Scott case. Exhibits and museum store.

1834 OLD CATHEDRAL: Still an active Catholic parish, the cathedral is open for visits and has a small museum.

↑ back to top

IMAGES: Attractions

Nine images stacked below each other on the far left margin of the brochure.


IMAGE 1 of 9: Old Courthouse

DESCRIBING: A small square color photograph

SYNOPSIS: Centered in the image is the Old Courthouse, an ornate white building decorated with columns, pediments, pilasters, and other decorations in the Greek Revival style. The building has a dome with a green top and a tall spire (cupula) sticking out of the top of the frame. Other city buildings, grass, and trees surround the courthouse.  

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: Centered in the photograph is the Old Courthouse, a white building with a green dome against a mostly cloudy sky with green grass in the foreground. The center of the building has a portico with a triangular pediment on top. There are six columns at the front of the portico and three large wooden doors. There are windows on the upper level of the portico. Two wings on the left and right side of the building are each two stories high and have many large windows on each floor. There are triangular pediments on the far side of each wing. Above the second floor in the middle of the building is the drum, which is a tall round structure that has long arched windows all the way around. Directly above these windows are small circular windows that sit just below the light green dome. At the top is the cupola, a small round structure with arched windows. The cupola has a short railing all the way around. Atop the cupola is another very small green dome topped with a ball and a flagpole. On either side of the Old Courthouse are tall office buildings in the background. In front of the Courthouse is green grass which comes slightly downhill all the way to the bottom of the photograph. Two walkways curve along the grass from the outside of the photo toward the portico. Leafless trees sit in front of the courthouse’s two wings. Directly in front of the courthouse in the center, behind the green lawn stands a flagpole with an American flag flying.  

CAPTION: Built in 1839–62 as a community crossroads, the St. Louis Courthouse was the setting for the pivotal Dred Scott case in the 1840s and 50s.

CREDIT: ERIC GRUNWALD


IMAGE 2 of 9: Remodeled Courthouse

DESCRIBING: A small square color photograph

SYNOPSIS: Centered in the photograph is the colorful, highly decorated interior of the rotunda of the Old Courthouse.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: This photo was taken from the rotunda looking upward. The rotunda is the circular area in the center of the building underneath the dome. At the very top of the photo, a circular opening lets in natural light. Radiating from the opening are four sections of alternating walls bending downward toward the viewer. The four sections are organized in the pattern: 3 orange panels with tan borders and one dark-colored painting. There are 12 orange panels and four paintings total. Circling the starburst of panels is a thin border of intricate circular woodwork and columns painted a salmon color. Moving downward in the photo are large arched windows. The areas around the windows are painted a light green. A black railing encircles a walkway on that level. Just under the walkway is more of the salmon color curved woodwork in the lower left and right corners of the photo. 

CAPTION: The courthouse was remodeled in the 1860s with a cast-iron dome. The Italian Renaissance- style ROTUNDA features murals of St. Louis history.

CREDIT: JEFF MILSTEEN


IMAGE 3 of 9: Dred and Harriet Scott

DESCRIBING: A small square color photograph

SYNOPSIS: Head and shoulders photograph of a bronze statue on a black background. The sculpture shows an African American couple with close-cropped curly black hair. The sculpture is a dark colored bronze and was shot from a low angle looking up. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The statue is made of bronze and has several shades of browns and grays. Dred is on the left and Harriet is on the right. Both Dred and Harriet have their heads tilted up looking skyward. Dred faces forward; he has dark curly hair, wide open eyes and a dark mustache and goatee. He has a broad nose; his mouth is closed with a slight frown. His cheeks have highlights of brown and gray that give his face dimension and age. Below his neck is a large floppy bow tie, buttoned shirt, and jacket. Harriet is angled sideways toward Dred. Her head is turned upward and looks up over her left shoulder. She has curly short hair. From this low angle, it looks like she has a furrowed brow over her wide-open eyes. Harriet has a broad nose and full lips with a crease in her cheeks, creating a hint of a smile. Her face has tones of brown and gray with white highlights of light on her lower lip, cheeks, and eye lids. She is wearing a large wide hoop earring in each ear. Her dress is a square patch work design with raised lines creating the squares. The alternating squares have a rough texture to them, making it look like fabric. Sunlight falls on her shoulder highlighting the textures. The couple radiate an air of hope and pride. 

CAPTION: In 1846 DRED AND HARRIET SCOTT sued for—and won—their freedom here. After a decade of litigation, both the Missouri and US supreme courts overturned the decision, upholding slavery and bringing the nation closer to war.

CREDIT: NPS / AL BILGER SCULPTURE BY HARRY WEBER


IMAGE 4 of 9: Observation Deck

DESCRIBING: A small square color photograph

SYNOPSIS: A wide angle photo of the observation deck at the top of the Gateway Arch. Several people are standing in the middle of the deck or leaning over the window ledges to take in the view.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The curved off-white ceiling takes up the upper third of the image. The ceiling is sectioned into squares and reflects the light coming through the windows. Several visitors in casual summer clothing are leaning over, looking at the view from the left side windows. A few other visitors are standing in the middle of the viewing platform with their backs to the camera. On the right are two unattended windows that are horizontal rectangles of white light with light spilling onto the gray window ledges. Further back there is one person standing on a thin raised step that runs the length of the observation deck. This person is looking out the window. The grey carpeted floor has the same curve as the ceiling but is more narrow, since the sides of the observation area taper inward like the edges of a trapezoid. 

CAPTION: The tram takes 4 minutes to reach the observation deck at the top of the Arch and 3 minutes back down. The area has 32 windows and can hold 160 visitors.

CREDIT: OLIVER ASIS


IMAGE 5 of 9: View from the Top

DESCRIBING: A small square color photograph

SYNOPSIS: High angle photograph taken from the top of the Gateway Arch looking southwest toward downtown St Louis, Missouri. The view shows a few tall office buildings in the foreground and smaller buildings all the way back to the narrow hazy blue gray horizon miles away. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: Dozens of buildings are seen in this expansive cityscape just below a sliver of hazy blue-grey sky. From the horizon, the first notable building is a tall tan skyscraper with a domed top. In the middle ground to the left is a circular, open sports stadium with a green playing field and bright red seats. Below the stadium is a tall cylindrical building that has rows of windows running down its length. Next to it is a shorter rectangular dark green glass office building. Another tall tan office building with sections of dark windows sits in the bottom-middle of the photo. In the lower right corner of the photo is a grassy park with curving sidewalks cutting through. Directly behind this park is the Old Courthouse, an off-white building with a green dome. The rest of the image consists of smaller buildings showing the sprawl of the city. 

CAPTION: To the east: Mississippi River, boats and barges, East St. Louis, IL. To the west: Downtown St. Louis, Busch Stadium, Old Courthouse.

CREDIT: NPS / LARRY BIXBY


IMAGE 6 of 9: Museum at the Gateway Arch

DESCRIBING: A small square color photograph

SYNOPSIS: Close-up shot of a model steamboat, with other model buildings in the background. It is part of a diorama exhibit at the Museum at the Gateway Arch. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The boat is a model of an oblong oval shaped riverboat that takes up the entire width of the photo and about 1/3 of its height. It has two passenger decks that have white handrails and trim all around the outside edge. The steam paddlewheel is on the front third of the ship and has a white cover over it with St. Louis painted in blue. The edge of the cover is painted in yellow with small blue squares as decoration. Atop the second deck is a long white and gray pilot house. Near the rear of the boat on this level are two tall black smokestacks. At midship there are two more smokestacks that are shorter and narrower than the rear ones.

In the foreground is a smooth brown surface that represents the muddy Mississippi River. Behind the boat, on the cobblestone levee, are piles of gray supplies that are waiting to be loaded onto boats. In the background behind the cobblestones are models of multi-storied storefronts and warehouses. Some of the windows of the buildings appear to be lit from inside. Tiny figures of people, vehicles and horses fill the streets of the model. 

CAPTION: Opened in 2018, the MUSEUM AT THE GATEWAY ARCH covers 201 years of history focusing on the role of St. Louis in the westward expansion of the US. Exhibits include this model of the levee in 1852.

CREDIT: NPS/KEVIN BROOKS


IMAGE 7 of 9: Park Ranger

DESCRIBING: A small square color photograph

SYNOPSIS: A photo of a young Black girl painting a Monarch butterfly outside on a sunny day while a white, male National Park Service ranger holds a reference photo. Green trees are in the background. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The young child in profile is a Black girl around 6 to 7 years old. She is wearing orange sunglasses, a white blouse, and a pink backpack. She has a paintbrush in her right hand and is looking up at a photo of a Monarch butterfly that a ranger is holding. She is painting the butterfly on a large canvas that sits on a wooden easel in front of her. The middle-aged white male ranger is wearing a flat-brimmed straw hat with a pinched dome, sunglasses, a gray uniform shirt with name tag, badge, and shoulder patch, and green trousers. He seems to be giving advice to the young artist. The picture was taken outside near the Arch visitor center, in bright sun. The trees in the background are leafy and green. 

CAPTION: Park rangers lead a variety of programs and activities every day. Check schedules at the visitor center or on our website.

CREDIT: NPS / LINDA ROITHER


IMAGE 8 of 9: Arch over the Mississippi River

DESCRIBING: A small square color photograph

SYNOPSIS: A wide angle photograph of the Gateway Arch towering over the St. Louis city skyline. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: Central in the photo is the gray stainless-steel Gateway Arch. Shaped like a giant upside-down letter ‘U', the Arch dwarfs all other downtown buildings. The left leg of the Arch is a light gray, and the right leg is a darker gray due to the lighting. The photo was taken on a sunny day with a clear blue sky and almost no clouds. The downtown skyline of tall office building stretches across the photo directly behind the Arch. The Old Courthouse, an ornate white building with a green dome, can be seen in the space between the legs of the Arch, though it looks very small compared to the modern skyscrapers. Green trees in the park can be seen in a line all the way across the photo just at the base of the Arch legs. In front of the trees, the wide concrete grand staircase leading from the Arch to the riverfront spans the distance between the legs of the Arch. In the foreground is the dark blue Mississippi river with a few ripples and a partial reflection of downtown buildings in the water. On the river to the left is a white riverboat.  

CAPTION: The story of St. Louis is the story of the Mississippi River. View the city on a RIVERBOAT TOUR. Get information and tickets at www.gatewayarch.com.

CREDIT: NPS / AL BILGER 


IMAGE 9 of 9: Riverfront statue of Lewis and Clark called The Captains' Return

DESCRIBING: A medium vertical color photograph

SYNOPSIS: A photo of a bronze statue on a black background. It shows two men and a dog standing in a small boat. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The boat is pointed to the right of the photo. William Clark is standing in the boat and Meriwether Lewis is kneeling on one knee, with the opposite foot resting on the side of the boat. Both men are wearing buckskin shirts and trousers. A large, shaggy Newfoundland dog stands in front of the two men, with his paw on the prow of the boat. Clark is holding the brim of his hat as if signaling someone in the distance. His rifle is slung on his back with the stock sticking up behind his right shoulder. Fringe detail is shown on his sleeves. Lewis has his left hand on the scruff of the dog’s neckHis right hand holds his rifle with the stock on the boat and the barrel pointing straight up, extending above his broad brimmed hat. His gaze is straight ahead. The dog has his mouth open and tongue lolled out, as though he is excited about something in the distance. The boat has a rope tied to the prow and looped back into the boat.  

CAPTION: The riverfront statue of LEWIS AND CLARK commemorates the 1804–06 Corps of Discovery expedition.

CREDIT: HARRY WEBER

↑ back to top

MAP: Gateway Arch National Park

DESCRIBING: A large map that covers most of this side of the brochure.

SYNOPSIS: This map shows the major sites of the park. Dominating the map is the stainless-steel Gateway Arch, which includes an underground visitor center and museum. The map also includes the historic Old Courthouse, Luther Ely Smith Square, the Old Cathedral, and the grand staircase leading to the Mississippi River.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The vantage point for the map is above and just east of the Arch, giving us a bird's eye view from above the Mississippi River. This means the top of this map is west, and the bottom of the map is east. The illustration of the Gateway Arch, which dominates the map, has two sections cut away on the right side of the structure. This shows the tram car mechanism that allows visitors to ride to the top. At the top of the arch are eight small black rectangles that represent windows in the observation deck. Around the base of the arch, the park grounds are shown as a green horizontal rectangle starting in the lower left and gradually rising as it stretches to the right side of the map, parallel to the river. The grounds are crossed with several long, wide concrete walking or biking pathways and with two curved-edge manmade ponds. At the very top of the map, another, much smaller green rectangle representing one city block, runs upward toward a white building with a green dome labeled “Old Courthouse.” Down the map and to the left is the Old Cathedral, a mostly rectangular church building with a steeple. Right of the Old Cathedral and down from the Old Courthouse is the circular entrance to the underground visitor center, which has panels of blue on its roof in this illustration. A dashed white outline, shaped like an upside down “T” and stretching from the entrance to between the legs of the Arch, shows the location of the underground visitor center and museum. Just below the Arch and descending to the Mississippi River’s edge is the Grand Staircase. Accessible routes that curve from the Arch to the riverfront are also noted on either side of the Grand Staircase. Areas on the map that are not part of Gateway Arch National Park are shown in muted grays and tans, with a grid of crisscrossing white lines representing unnamed city streets. 

↑ back to top

TEXT: Know the Numbers

Gateway Arch is the tallest human-built monument in the US. Both its height and base width are 630 feet.

The Arch is designed to sway up to 18 inches in high winds or an earthquake.

In ideal conditions, you can see 30 miles from the top.

The site was federally designated as Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in 1935; it became Gateway Arch National Park in 2018. The park encompasses 91 acres.

Eero Saarinen’s sleek modernist design was chosen from among 172 proposals.

Construction of the Arch began February 12,1963, and ended October 28, 1965. It opened to the public June 9, 1967.

Construction costs totaled $13 million. The $11 million cost of the Arch itself was 75 percent federal funds and 25 percent from the City of St. Louis. The Bi-State Development Agency provided the $2 million for the tram system.

↑ back to top

OVERVIEW: Accessibility and Safety


Lock all valuables out of sight or take them with you. 

For information ask at the visitor center or check our website: www.nps.gov/jeff

↑ back to top

OVERVIEW: More Information

Gateway Arch National Park is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks and National Park Service programs in America’s communities, visit www.nps.gov. 


ADDRESS: 11 North 4th St., St. Louis, MO 63102

PHONE: 314-655-1600

WEBSITE: www.nps.gov/jeff


Emergencies call 911

↑ back to top